Nia was a hardworking woman, but her most recent promotion at the store changed her into an aggressive, impatient boss. She got away with it until she chose to insult and fire the old janitor.
It had only been a week since Nia’s big promotion, and she still couldn’t believe it. She was now the general manager of one of the outlets of a fashion retail giant.
Years before she got the promotion, Nia had filled up a binder with ideas on how she would improve the store if she ever got the chance. This morning, the binder sat proudly on her desk as Nia addressed the staff shortly before the shutters went up.
“Alright, guys. Is everyone clear on the new protocols we’re going to follow?” she asked.
The staff replied in nods, kind smiles, and a few gentle yeses.
“I don’t want anybody to be lax or deviate from my new guidelines. To ensure that, here’s what we’re going to do.
“Anybody who fails to follow the new rules – whether it is about uniform, customer greetings, display arrangements – will lose their incentive for this month.”
Nia looked at the faces turn serious and grinned proudly at her own idea.
The staff, however, were utterly shaken by such a drastic decision. They couldn’t work knowing that any small mistake, conscious or unaware, would cost them the money that paid most of their bills.
The men and women looked at each other in shock, wondering if they should try to reason with Nia.
Even though the woman had changed a lot in the past week, every employee in the store was happy for Nia. They all knew how hard she had worked for it for the last three years. They all knew how passionate she was about this industry. And they were happy that someone who started as an intern on the floor had risen to such heights.
However, Nia’s newfound boldness was doing more damage than good for the store and the people who worked there.
Since day one on the new post, she had been changing things, setting unrealistically high expectations from people she knew were hardworking, and reacting to the smallest mistakes with excessive anger and impatience.
But knowing the younger Nia, who had dreamed of this job, no one in the team had the heart to tell her she was terrible at it.
Except today, when the most unexpected person from the group spoke up.
“Nia, child, I’ve got something to say,” Victor raised his shaky hand and smiled.
Nia reluctantly turned to him. She was in no mood to take feedback or suggestions from the 68-year-old janitor of the store.
“Firstly, let me tell you that we’re all very happy to help you with your vision for the store, Nia,” Victor said, bringing a smile to the lady’s face. “But I think this new challenge will make us work in fear. None of us wants to lose our incentive, and maybe we could find a way to let go of the small mistakes—”
Nia had tuned out from Victor’s suggestions and couldn’t stop imagining what the others on the team were thinking as they nodded in agreement with the old man.
“I can’t let Victor talk to me like he’s on my level. I don’t want to send that message to the others here,” Nia thought.
“Victor, that’s enough!” she blurted, much to everyone’s shock.
“How about we fix our own mistakes before throwing suggestions around, huh, Victor? Do you think I haven’t been noticing how late you arrive to work every day? Or how long your lunch breaks are? You may have been allowed all that in the past, but not anymore. From now on, as per my rules, you need to—”